Are you tired of living a life full of regret or do you want to know how to deal with regret? Don’t just wish you could. You can deal with regret.
It’s true that several individuals still live with regret ignorantly because they have not learned how to deal with it, which is not meant to be.
According to the English dictionary, regret is an emotional pain on account of something done or experienced in the past, with a wish that it had been different; looking back with dissatisfaction or with longing”.
Regrettable feelings drain an individual and make them confused about what to do next.
However, you can deal with it, and when dealing with regret, there are certain things to do:
Acknowledge your feelings, identify and address your weaknesses, learn from your past mistakes, seek the help of a therapist, accept your responsibilities, challenge your thoughts, and lots more.
However, it is normal to experience regret, but you are not expected to live with such regret as it can hurt your health and general well-being. In this article, I will be expounding more on how to deal with regret.
10 Ways on How To Deal With Regret
How you deal with regret matters so much as it can either lead you into depression or motivate you to personal growth and development. As said earlier, in the course of life, regret is inevitable, but how to deal with regret is paramount.
1. Acknowledge And Accept Your Feelings
The first step in how to deal with regret is to acknowledge and accept your feelings. How do you acknowledge and accept your feelings? Accept your mistakes and don’t push blame; blaming someone else for your mistakes shows you are not ready for a change. Acknowledging and accepting your feelings will also give you room to focus on making the best of the situation.
Be conscious of the fact that you are hurting from the mistakes of the past, and don’t ignore any abnormal feelings that you are having. The first step towards recovery is acknowledgment and admission. You have to know that the vulnerability you must show to be able to deal with regrets is not a sign of weakness.
Researchers discovered that continuous regret can cause health issues like chest pain, joint pain, headaches, and shortness of breath, as well as the capability to exacerbate incurable illnesses like heart disease.
2. Don’t Stay Idle
Staying idle opens or creates more room for regretful thought, the solution is to get busy. People die of depression. A popular saying goes “An idle man is the devil’s workshop”. There are many ways you can engage yourself instead of staying idle. You can read lots of books to keep yourself busy, you can learn some skills to keep yourself busy.
Staying idle will also open the once-closed wound and make it look so fresh. It is encouraged not to stay idle to preserve your mental health and well-being.
However, most people confuse being in a quiet environment or mood with staying idle, you can be alone and still be usefully busy. Compared to just wallowing in your thoughts while your hands and heart are still not busy doing anything profitable.
3. Controlling Your Thoughts
Controlling your thoughts when faced with regret is one of the best ways how to deal with regret. How can you control your thoughts?
You can control your thoughts by examining them, being self-aware, talking to yourself, engaging your mind, and reminding yourself that you are now in your present, no more in the past.
Controlling your thoughts is a massive exercise to help yourself, because the human mind is like a stretched sky space that can accommodate as many birds and flying creatures as possible, you just have to know which kind of birds are allowed to roam about.
They say “You can’t stop a bird from flying above your head, but you can stop it from making its nest on your head”, and that says it all.
Control what you think, control how you allow your mind to fly, control which thought is allowed to torment you. Although this demands consistency and perfection for its effect to be visible, starting is a key step.
4. Exercise Self Compassion
The fact that you made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean you are doomed for life. No, that should not be in your thoughts. Some people continue living in regrets just because they feel nothing good can come out of them, they hate themselves, bite themselves, and live their lives in guilt and condemnation.
One way how to deal with regret is practicing self-compassion, showing love to yourself, and taking care of your health and body. Making a mistake doesn’t signify the end of the road for you.
Give yourself a second chance to experience a more positive life which will also give you ideas to handle similar situations if the need arises and next time, produce more positive results.
5. Focus On Your Present
Your past should be bygone, dwelling in it makes no sense. You don’t have to continually chastise yourself concerning your past mistakes, brace up and move on.
You indeed failed your exams because you didn’t read, don’t cry over spilled milk. Thinking about the past will only make you feel so bad and remorseful, you become addicted to words like “I wish I did it like this”, and “If only I didn’t do this”. Let the past, pass away.
Instead, focus on your present, make meaning out of it, don’t fall back into the pit you once came out from, develop yourself, and let your mistakes inspire you to make better decisions and choices. This is one simple trick on how to deal with regret.
6. Associate With Supportive Friends
Genuine and supportive friends have a way of taking great pain from an individual. Surround yourself with friends that will cheer you up, friends that will bring out the best in you, and friends that will give you a reason to stop dwelling in your past and move forward.
Yes, you may indeed be weak at the moment, but supportive friends can be a source of strength for you. In situations where your friends at the moment are not helping you out of the mess, you should change that circle of friends to maintain a healthy, balanced, and positive life.
And also learn how to talk to trusted friends about how you feel most times, it has a way of saying the huge damage dying in silence will cause.
7. Practice Positivity
Harboring a series of regrets is more than a burden to carry and it can generate some terminal illnesses or malfunctions in the body system, especially in the brain.
Practicing positivity helps build your mindset and turn your perception of your situation to be something different from what you will ordinarily see if it is.
Learning to practice positivity is a major way of knowing how to deal with regrets, and stay mentally healthy.
This is a situation we’re in even though the pain of the past is being hard on us and crushing, positivity helps us believe in a better future and helps us see the golden opportunities lurking around than very painful situation that is the source of the regret.
You can always look at the mirror and make a positive affirmation, telling yourself you won’t continue to dwell in the past.
8. Setting Realistic Goals
Researchers discovered that setting realistic goals can significantly ease the effect of regret on any individual.
Setting feasible goals based on your purpose and aspirations can give you a sense of direction. By focusing on your future goals, you can divert your energy away from dwelling on past regrets.
Set feasible goals such as going back to school, getting a job, changing your residence, reading some books, getting married, the list goes on.
However, don’t bite yourself when it’s not working yet, it is a gradual process and in no time you will achieve your goals. Also, celebrate yourself whenever you meet a goal. Setting a realistic goal is one way how to deal with regret.
9. Distract Yourself And Give Yourself Time To Heal
You got pregnant as a teenager and every day it seems like your world has ended. I understand the feeling and shame you might have gone through. However, the only good thing you can do to yourself is give yourself time to heal. Time is a great healer. After a messy breakup, you don’t rush back into another relationship with the injuries of the last relationship.
You have to allow your emotions to breathe the breath of fresh air first, don’t rush to use an emotional support system to heal a deep wound, allow yourself time and you’ll be back stronger in no distant time.
Regretting about your past will not change the fact that it happened, instead, it will bring your past to continuously haunt you and you begin to feel like it just happened, bringing the feelings to the present as if it just happened.
However, distracting yourself will make it easy of a burden to carry, distract yourself with work, music, books, etc.
Do things that will make you feel good, and spend time with people that will make you feel happy. Get engaged and you will find yourself forgetting about your past.
10. Consult A Therapist
If you discover that you keep repeating those same mistakes that lead to regret over and over again, and you have tried all you can but you keep repeating it, the solution you need is to consult a therapist.
Consulting a therapist is always the fallback option for any emotional issues, A therapist will help you change your mentality and mindset and build your life into positivity, or, to say the least, show you how to.
How to deal with regret is a personal journey that you have to intentionally take yourself through. After reading through, you should be able to understand how to deal with regret effectively.
By associating with supportive friends, accepting your feelings, distracting yourself, and giving yourself time to heal. Although the aim is not to eradicate or eliminate regret but to transform it into a motivation for positive change.